Book Recs For Narcissistic Mothers, Sick Pups, And Dating In NYC

by  | April 25

Hi babes! Ya girl Mable here. It’s finally spring, which means it’s time to spring clean your love life, your personal life, your work life (you get the picture)! Throw open those windows, bust out the dust rags, and email me for book recommendations! I’ll do all the heavy lifting with my book recommendations, so this is the easiest spring cleaning you’ll ever do! Let’s Marie Kondo this ish.

There is no problem too big or small, no book I can’t recommend! Let me help you (PLEASE, I love being bossy!)

To submit problems for future advice columns, please send them to me via email (, Facebook message, or Twitter DM. I promise I won’t share your identity with anyone. Let’s begin!

Dear Mable,

I’ve been dealing with a narcissistic mother and I’m not crazy nor is it my fault. She needs help and clearly doesn’t think so. 

Mama Drama 

Dear Mama Drama,

Listen babe, I beyond get it. There is nothing more frustrating than someone who doesn’t understand they’re in the wrong. But here’s the shitty thing about life: you can’t change people. Oh how I wish we could make people realize how selfish, mean, careless, dumb, fill in the blank, they’re being, but we just can’t. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but I promise once you accept this fact, your life will be so much better. I’m not saying you have to excuse her behavior or pretend that her narcissism is okay, but the healthiest thing for you is to move past your frustration and resentment (which SUCKS, trust me—you know Mama Mable loves a good grudge).

All this is especially hard if you live with your mom, because some days you will feel like you can’t escape her or her narcissism. That’s why, before I recommend you a book, I recommend therapy – it will change your life, I promise. I’d normally suggest joint therapy for mommy issues, but since your mom is convinced she is ~totally fine~ (which… lol, no one is), you’re going to have to go it alone. Having an outlet to vent your frustrations can only help, and this can hopefully help you handle your mom’s issues!

Now to my book recommendation. I’m not going to suggest some woo-woo sappy book about the bonds we have with our mothers, or the love and trust of familial bonds. If you ask anyone, it is near impossible to have any sort of relationship with a narcissist—they are simply too self-concerned to altruistically care about others. So my book recommendation is not about your relationship with your mother, it’s about you.

Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies and the Truth About Reality by Brad Warner is a no BS guide to meditation and finding your peace. While the title seems incongruent with the message of meditation, seeing as it mentions punk rock and monster movies, this book will help you channel your anger (hence the punk-rock bit) into fighting your monsters (see what I did there?). This honest and funny approach to meditation, combined with therapy should absolutely help you come to terms with your mom’s narcissism.




P.S. Not everyone has perfect parents. If you want a good laugh, read the memoir My Father the Pornographer. It should make you feel better about your more-mundane parental issues!

Dear Mable,

My mom just told me that our 8 year old golden retriever Goose has cancer. We’ve had him since I was 10 and I can’t lose him. Please help.

It’s Still Puppy Love

Dear, sweet Puppy Love,

Babe, I’m so sorry. Losing a pet is one of the worst things that can happen. Humans have done absolutely nothing to deserve dogs, and they love us anyway. Also, Goose is maybe the best name for a dog I’ve ever heard! Losing Goose is going to be super hard—there’s no getting around it. But you haven’t lost Goose yet!

Take a page from Lauren Fern Watt’s book Gizelle’s Bucket List, and spend as much time as you can with Goose! Lauren wrote this memoir after her beloved—and enormous—English Mastiff Gizelle got sick. Wanting to make the remainder of Gizelle’s life amazing, Lauren made a bucket list for them to complete, and I think you should make one too! Take Goose to his favorite hiking spot so he can wade in the river up to his tummy, buy him the fast food he always had puppy eyes for, bring him to the dog park so he can see his doggie crush, let him eat ice cream (farts be damned!). Make the most of your time together, but know that in the end, all Goose really needs is your love.



(Related: Ever Wondered What Life With A 160-Pound English Mastiff Is Like? This Is The Audiobook For You)

Dear Mable,

I just moved to NYC, and I feel so lonely. There are over 1 million people living in Manhattan but I still feel like it’s impossible to meet a nice guy! What should I do??

Single and Desperately Ready to Mingle

Dear Single,

I hereby give you permission to chill. NYC is a crazy (amazing) place to live, and no one finds Prince Charming right off the bat. Also, as long as you are talking about finding a genuinely nice guy, and not a fedora-wearing “mi’lady” nice guy, we can continue. Rule number 1 of dating in NYC: DO NOT download every dating app. It can only lead to an overwhelming amount of shirtless profile pics, and a frankly disturbing amount of dick pics. What’s a girl, or guy, to do? Pick 1 or 2 dating apps. If you want gym selfies, choose Tinder. If you want a more serious thing, go with Match.

Also, read Available by Matteson Perry. Perry is a self-professed “nice guy,” so this should be right up your alley! Available chronicles Perry’s journey through the dating world – he made a rule for himself to date as many people as he could to try and discover who he is and what he really wants. Some of the women he ends up dating include a Swedish tourist, a born-again virgin, and a biter (damn!). A hilarious, and honest, look into the world of modern dating, Available should help you get a grasp on dating expectations. But honestly, if I’m honest, I really only picked it because of the eggplant emoji lol.

One last word of advice—if you find a biter, invest in some turtlenecks. It will be less awkward for everyone.

Get out there!